ThinkFirst for Kids (grades K-2)

ThinkFirst for Kids is a modular curriculum for grades K-2 that teaches children the importance of safety habits. This six-week curriculum is the most comprehensive brain and spinal cord injury prevention program available.  ThinkFirst for Kids is presented in a classroom format and can be fully integrated into the elementary school curriculum. The curriculum includes background materials, lessons, exercises, and access to the animated safety video Street Smart: A ThinkFirst Adventure, Street Smart comic strips, and Street Smart bulletin posters designed to share safety tips with youth. Each grade (K-2) has a separate curriculum and array of classroom activities specifically designed for that grade level. ThinkFirst for Kids covers six areas:

  • Basic brain and spinal cord anatomy
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Bicycle safety
  • Playground safety  
  • Water safety
  • Violence and conflict resolution

ThinkFirst for Youth (grades 3-6)

ThinkFirst for Youth is a unique, literature-based curriculum for grades 3–6 that teaches children important risk-prevention strategies while helping them improve their critical thinking, reading and writing skills. The three to five week program is designed to be flexible, allowing teachers to integrate the program's core topics with other subjects or use them as the basis for a more extended course. Developed with guidance from educators, ThinkFirst for Youth was designed with many of the Oregon Education Content Standards and Benchmarks for grade 5 in mind. The curriculum includes writing assignments, group projects, classroom discussions, and access to brain models, literature such as Mick Harte was Here by Barbara Park and Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, and an in-class presentation by ThinkFirst. ThinkFirst for Youth covers the following areas:

  • Brain and spinal cord anatomy
  • Injury prevention
  • Violence and conflict resolution
  • Risk taking
  • Alcohol use/abuse

ThinkFirst for Teens (grades 7-12)

ThinkFirst for Teens for grades 7-12 addresses injury prevention by focusing on the underlying behaviors that lead to injury. The ThinkFirst forTeens program educates young people about personal vulnerability and risk taking. The message is that you can have a fun, exciting life, and you can do it without hurting yourself if you "think first" and use your mind to protect your body.The curriculum includes a workbook and access to an in-class presentation by ThinkFirst featuring a Voices of Injury Prevention (VIP) speaker. VIP speakers candidly share their personal experience with a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury and how it has impacted their life. The ThinkFirst for Teens workbook is a collection of peer discussion and writing exercises designed to function as a stand-alone curriculum or be integrated into other health/psychology subjects. Our goal is to help students develop safety habits that will minimize their risks of sustaining a brain or spinal cord injury. Our intent is to make the learning experience fun, yet meaningful, and to involve not only teachers, but also parents and the community. ThinkFirst for Teens covers the following areas:

  • Brain and spinal cord anatomy
  • Peer pressure
  • Risk taking
  • Violence and conflict resolution
  • Sports/recreation safety

Curriculum loans

All curriculum is available to borrow, free-of-charge, from the ThinkFirst Oregon office. The curriculum and its components will be loaned to the educator for the length of time prescribed in that particular curriculum. After that period, educators will be asked to return the curriculum so that we can share it with other educators. For information about free curriculum loans please contact Thinkfirst Oregon. If you are interested in purchasing any of the ThinkFirst curriculum, please visit the ThinkFirst National website.

The ThinkFirst programs were identified as an example of best practices in the Comprehensive Community Based Prevention Strategies category by LifeSpan Adaptation Projects, University of Toronto, in July 2000.